|Health is not a condition of matter, but of mind|
|Written by Justin Newman, medical student|
Exercise your right… to exercise.
When was the last time you felt great? Think about this for a moment. When you felt like you were on top of your game, when you felt quick mentally and strong physically, when you were in such a good mood it risked rubbing off on other people?
If it has been a while since you have had that feeling—I wish you the best in finding that feeling again as soon as possible. If I might give a recommendation that may help you get this feeling back ASAP—yes, you guessed it—perhaps you could give exercising a try.
Our bodies evolved with a lifestyle that was very active, that required physical hunting, gathering, farming and living with much activity. Because of this, the body is made to be a lean, mean survival machine. Since the onset of recent civilizations, and most notably since the industrial revolution, our lifestyles have changed.
The majority of us work jobs that are not very physically demanding when compared to the physical work our bodies were historically accustomed to. Our lifestyles changed MUCH more quickly than our bodies were able to adapt.
There are many different things that go on when you exercise. Because our bodies are meant to lead physical lives, there are many aspects of the body that still need this exercise. The heart makes changes and is able to beat more slowly and more efficiently. The lungs work harder, the blood vessels make very healthy changes, and the fat, cholesterol and sugars in the body are kept at much healthier levels.
There are also many changes exercise makes on the body that we are not able to fully understand. With exercise, the body releases a variety of chemicals. These chemicals are often referred to as the “feel good” chemicals, similar to the effect that anti-depressants have on the body—but these are the natural feel good feelings the body is designed to have. The body also has a different release of hormones, including testosterone, that help the body to have a more healthy shape, have an increased sex drive and be better at healing.
Many people find their stress levels are greatly decreased when they exercise, and they are more readily able to handle any situation they may encounter. Many people also sleep much better when they are in shape and exercising regularly.
Additionally, many different healthy changes are associated with exercise. There is a substantially decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease among people who exercise regularly (four times or more each week for 30 minutes). Even problems with memory that are not as severe as Alzheimer’s are found—the person who exercises remains sharper for a longer period.
People who exercise feel better for so many reasons. Their body is obviously healthier, but their mind is also in a much better place. The mind ages better, the person feels better, and the overall quality of life is increased in many different ways.
Think about the last time you actually felt really very good—and then think about how you want to feel 10 years from now. You know the feeling that your body has after a period of inactivity. After 10 years you could either feel quick, strong and healthy or like you didn’t move nearly enough for the past decade—the choice is yours!